DOES TIKTOK PROMOTE TOXIC PRODUCTIVITY, OR ARE THESE ROUTINES IMPROVING OUR MENTAL HEALTH?
If you're an avid TikTok watcher like most of us, you'd have come across a new TikTok trend showing what some of us dedicated early-birds do before their 9-5.
This usually involves someone waking up around 5 AM, making a delicious caramel latte or protein shake, getting their gym wear on, doing a full workout by 6 AM, showering and reading an empowering book by 7 AM, and then getting ready with a crisp new outfit and perfect hair by 8 AM in time for their 9-5 job.
Of course, having a 5-9 before your 9-5 seems like a brilliant idea - you're technically taking as much advantage of the hours in your day as possible... but does this trend lead to
unrealistic expectations for most of us?
PROMOTING UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS & TOXIC PRODUCTIVITY...
Our lives have developed into busy whirlwinds for the majority of us and having a 9-5 gives us just enough time to get a full 8-9 hours of sleep while also maintaining a social life on a weekend.
The 5-9 before your 9-5 lifestyle promotes early wake-ups, which for some, will be a large chunk of their sleeping schedule if they don't go to sleep by 10 PM... so, when it comes to prioritising a smoothie and gym over your sleep, we would definitely recommend sticking to getting as much rest as possible.
It can be quite discouraging, scrolling through your TikTok and seeing people keeping busy while you are just asleep, and having the idea of needing to do something just because others are, can develop into quite a toxic habit. For many of us, a 5-9 is completely unattainable - whether you're a nightshift worker who only just got home at 4 AM, you struggle sleeping anyway so the 5-9 is where you'd get your key hours of sleep or you are simply just too tired to move.
Toxic productivity can come in many forms, and cramming activities in even when your body needs rest during the hours of 5-9 is one of them.
If you're seeing the trend pop up continuously - please, don't feel guilty! Understanding that people lead different lifestyles and habits is key... don't force it if your body and mind are telling you otherwise.
DEVELOPING HEALTHY HABITS & IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH...
On the other hand, our initial reaction may be that these TikToks are unattainable - but what if they're one of the key steps to developing a better routine in life and consequently better overall mental health?
Having an organised (ish) routine in life can be extremely useful, getting up at a certain hour, making lists of what you'd like to achieve today and sorting through that laundry pile you've been putting off the last 3 days will make your day more productive and earn a sense of achievement.
In one way, the TikTok trend promotes a healthier lifestyle - we're not saying everyone should be doing Kim Kardashian-style squat workouts and drinking gallons of pre-workout before 7 AM, BUT... exercise can be brilliant for your mental health as you release endorphins and gradually start feeling better about yourself. Getting up a couple of hours earlier to go on a brisk walk or start a yoga class could do you the world of a favour.
Like I've mentioned before, nowadays our lives are jam-packed, so starting off your morning 3-4 hours earlier has actually gained you some time during the day to spend a while doing self-care routines, reading your favourite book or prepping for an important exam.
Having structure and routine, and gaining extra hours in a day is not toxic - but with that being said, everything must be done with moderation in mind.
If your body is screaming for extra hours of sleep, don't force yourself, that isn't a healthy habit.
Yet if you're keen to exercise more, but can't seem to find the time to do some of your favourite self-care tasks or get a workout in, it may be time to turn to a 5-9 before a 9-5.
We're here for a chat, whether that be about the next TikTok trend you want to explore or any other marketing tip - email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.